Mexico: President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is addressing the drug problem in Mexico from a new, linguistic angle – they are trying to clean their everyday and journalistic language from drug gang slang. A spokesman has asserted that the measure is based on the certainty that language needs to be recovered first if the government ever wants to recover the streets. The measure was announced at a conference of state and federal security in Acapulco. As a reaction, the opposition has affirmed that trying to hide the problem will not help Mexico get to a solution soon.
Among the terms that are being targeted are words like “pick up”, which refers to cartel kidnappings, “blanketed”, to describe a body left in a blanket or “trunked”, which describes a body left in a car trunk. What the government is trying to avoid is the violence and immorality behind these terms, which are a direct consequence of the war metaphor and which are now regularly used by both the population and the media.
The opposition has stated that Peña Nieto has shifted the government’s emphasis and attention from combating drug cartels to economic and legal reforms. They affirm that the current government is trying to wrest importance from the issue by simply not talking about it.